Are you a parent looking for advice when purchasing new summer shoes for children?
Even though kids can run around in just about anything, their shoes should still provide foot support in the form of arch padding and a strong heel back. Be wary of flimsy canvas shoes and certain types of sandals! They may be appealing to children because of colourful graphics, but they lack support. Flip flops are a definite no, except for at the beach or a pool.
If you are concerned about your child’s feet or gait, please have them checked out by a foot specialist – a chiropodist or podiatrist. Many children’s feet require further support, and they may be a candidate for custom foot orthotics. Your child is never too young to be assessed by a foot specialist.
Below are some tips:
- Never put your child in shoes that are too big or too small, and make sure that all footwear is properly fitted.
- Don’t hand shoes down from one child to another – no two pairs of feet are ever the same shape or size.
- Get socks that fit – if they’re too tight they will cramp and even deform the foot in very young children. If they’re too big they can bunch up and cause blisters.
- Choose shoes with natural linings such as leather and socks with a high natural fibre content to allow feet to breathe.
- Don’t dry wet shoes near direct heat – let them dry out naturally in a warm airy place. It might help to fill them with newspaper for a short time to absorb moisture and help them to keep their shape.
- Try to get shoes that are designed for the purpose your child will use them for, otherwise they may not offer the support or wear you’re expecting.
- Getting children to use laces and buckles is an uphill struggle‚ but don’t let them force their feet in and out of shoes without unfastening them. Sometimes Velcro can make life easier for everyone but remember that a lace-up shoe provides more support and is best.
- Ideally buy shoes at the end of the day and make it a fun excursion for you and your child.